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The Nickel Boys
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men." In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.
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thebluestocking
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I‘ve been doing more chatting than reading in the backyard on this lovely late summer day.

Tamra 👌🏾 24m
41 likes1 comment
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Leftcoastzen
Nickel Boys | Colson Whitehead
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Tom Tom supervises the folding of the laundry and approves of my weekend reads . #catsoflitsy

AlaMich I love the black spot on his lower lip. Our tuxedo was mostly black, but she had a white spot in that exact same place. 😻 6h
Meaw_catlady Awww!! What a cutie! 5h
Lcsmcat Aww, what a handsome boy! 2h
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Leftcoastzen @AlaMich I call him my little Holstein!😻 55m
Leftcoastzen @Lcsmcat I think so! Thanks! 54m
49 likes6 comments
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SamAnne
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

Once again Colson Whitehead packs a punch. The second book I‘ve read by him. I want to read all his books now. Except maybe not the Zombie book. I am so tired of zombies. Should I read the zombie book too?

KathyWheeler I‘ve heard the zombie book is excellent even for those who don‘t love zombies. I haven‘t read it yet though. 12h
Dragonfairykats I want to read this! My local library doesn't have a copy, and the libraries in the Pines system for Georgia say it's too new to send. 🙄 I've had a lot of books like that lately 12h
SamAnne There are no wasted words, images, or scenes in this small book! 12h
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litenthusiast
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

This is probably the best book I have read in 2019. It is an excellent book. I immediately liked Elwood, but reading about his experiences at the Nickel Academy was sometimes difficult to read. I found myself taking a break from the book during the week because I found parts of this story angering and heartbreaking. If there is one book I would recommend it is definitely this one.

Leftcoastzen It is so good and so hard...I am about halfway through and I am already thinking it‘s the best book I have read this year. 23h
rather_be_reading definitely one of the best books of 2019 22h
38 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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krismlars
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I had to cancel an overnight trip to NYC because I‘ve got a sick kitty🤢. The sick kitty is in the crate, the orange one is the adorable veterinary office kitty. My guy isn‘t throwing up anymore but he also doesn‘t seem to be feeling better yet. Staying home today has given me the chance to wash all the stuff he threw up on AND to finish this book. Only a couple chapters left.

CoffeeNBooks Poor kitty! 😿 Hope he feels better soon! 1d
Megabooks I‘m sorry! 1d
Jas16 Hope your kitty is doing better soon 1d
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TheSpineView Poor baby! Hope he feels better! 1d
annkuch13 I hope he feels better soon! 1d
krismlars Thank you @CoffeeNBooks @Megabooks @Jas16 @TheSpineView @annkuch13 . He just had a bite to eat, so I‘m feeling hopeful. 1d
Tamra 😑🤞🏾🤞🏾 23h
TheLibrarian Hope your kitty starts feeling better soon. And I love that there is an office cat at the vet‘s office. 14h
Leftcoastzen Poor kitty! Hope he feels better soon. 4h
52 likes9 comments
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RobinGustafson
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Lunch with mom and came home with a few of my favorite things #bookhaul #summerveggies

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UnabridgedPod
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

Colson Whitehead's The Nickel Boys is spare and heartwrenching and perfect. I'm a fan of Whitehead's gorgeous prose and ability to deftly move from genre to genre, but The Nickel Boys may be my favorite work of his yet. And yes, that includes his amazing The Underground Railroad. The book, at just over 200 pages, is tight and brilliantly structured, unfolding the story of Elwood Curtis, (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod a good, kind, responsible black teenager in the Jim Crow South who is wrongly sentenced to Nickel Academy. Whitehead resists an overly dramatic accounting of the horrors Curtis faces there in favor of an unsentimental detailing of the events both large and small that make it such a life altering place. ⬇️ 1d
UnabridgedPod The novel moves occasionally between Elwood's time at Nickel Academy in the 1960s and his current life in New York, as we see what has become of his youthful promise. It's not fair to give away anything about this novel. Instead, I'll just advise you to read it immediately. 1d
Leftcoastzen Great review! I‘m nearing the end , will probably be best novel I have read this year. 4h
UnabridgedPod @Leftcoastzen Thanks! ❤️ 3h
21 likes4 comments
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DyAnne
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Look. Half Price Books sent me an email with a birthday discount coupon. I *had* to buy this.

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litenthusiast
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Starting the #24B4Monday #readathon with this book. It is rainy and gloomy here, so the perfect day to spend inside reading. I also did not realize #summersendreadathon was occurring at the same time, so I'm participating in both. @TheReadingMermaid @Andrew65 @jb72 @Clwojick

Clwojick Woohoo! Thanks for joining ♥️ 3d
Andrew65 Good luck with both readathons, two for the price of one! 😊 Thanks for taking part. 👍 (edited) 3d
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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shaynarae
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

so good that I read this book in one sitting! Very different from the Underground Railroad, but Whitehad‘s mastery of the art, both beautiful and tragic, comes through just the same. I held this book to my heart when I finished it. The story is all too relevant. Pick it up!

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thebluestocking
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Captured from the very first line.

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ephemeralwaltz
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Behind the scenes! 😂😂 #currentlyreading

LeahBergen 😆😆 4d
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JulietBooks
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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This book got me emotional. 😿

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JulietBooks
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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You must read this book!
#recommendsday

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raewhit
Nickel Boys | Colson Whitehead
Pickpick

Emotional & raw. Important that stories like this are told!

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KimmyM
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I went out to get something at lunch and came back with books! That's the way it goes sometimes.
WHISPER NETWORK is for one of my book clubs, and I'm looking forward to reading it. And THE NICKEL BOYS has been on my want-to-buy list since I first heard of it!
#newin #bookhaul #booksforlunch

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JulietBooks
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I finally got the book. 😯

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litenthusiast
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Beginning this one today. Looking forward to reading it because I keep hearing good things about it. Happy Sunday Litsy friends! 💜

Rachel.Rencher I love that mug! ☕ 1w
SamAnne I‘m halfway. Very good. And a hard read. 1w
litenthusiast @Rachel.Rencher Thanks! I love Harry Potter mugs. 1w
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litenthusiast @SamAnne That is good to know. Thanks. This is the first book I'm reading by him. 1w
SamAnne @litenthusiast He had a great recent interview on Terry Gross Fresh Air. I read Underground Railroad and loved it. This is my second. 1w
ReadosaurusText I can‘t wait to read this!!! 🤓 1w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Let me know how this one is!! 3d
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DrexEdit
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Did a little book shopping today. Can't wait to start this one!

crazyspine Enjoy! I loved it. 1w
45 likes1 comment
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SamAnne
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Taking some quiet time before heading after a long work today. Contentment is a book, a beer, burger and my border collie.

Ruthiella Nice alliteration!😀 1w
SamAnne @Ruthiella oh I‘m a such a single-minded sucker for it. 1w
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ephemeralwaltz
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Two more treats 😋

Tanisha_A 😍 1w
ephemeralwaltz @Tanisha_A that color combo! 1w
70 likes2 comments
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litenthusiast
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Book Haul - it always feels like all my library holds come in at the same time. 😺

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Mitch
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

There‘s violence quietly boiling under ever sentence of this tight wound novel. The fact this is based on a real place, on real lives is devastating. These boys didn‘t have a chance to grow, to live or to become the men they were destined to be.

Blaire I‘m really looking forward to this one. 2w
Mitch @Blaire I think you‘ll like it 🙌🏼 1w
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MsLeah8417
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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rjsthumbelina
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

Not a perfect book, but a very good one. Tells a fictionalized account of an institutional "school" for boys, an alternative to prison, where boys were beaten and killed, especially in the black houses. Emotional portrayal, but not one that had me sobbing, which is kind of nice. Read this for the #BNbookclub, which I am hosting at my store tonight

Also, this was my E for Care of Magical Creatures in the #NEWTs #magical readathon

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balletbookworm
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

4.5 stars rounded to a full 5 because so much is packed into this little book. It didn‘t wreck me like The Underground Railroad - I was a mess by the end of that book. This one was more quietly devastating. Whitehead didn‘t pull his punches but instead slipped them around from behind. The violence doesn‘t hit you in the face, it stabs you in the back. I also thought a lot about Ava DuVernay‘s When They See Us, currently streaming on Netflix.

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readordierachel
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

This is a book that will stay with me. Whitehead tells the story of Elwood Curtis, a boy sent to Nickel Academy, ostensibly a school designed to reform wayward youth that is in reality a prison, where racist staff & guards abuse & discard the boys at will. Whitehead based Nickel on the Dozier School for Boys, a real Florida reform school. It's a heartbreaking & angering story, unsentimental & unflinching. Required reading.

Graciouswarriorprincess I just finished it and can't wait to discuss it this evening at the B&N bookclub! 2w
readordierachel @Graciouswarriorprincess Hope you have a good discussion! 2w
Graciouswarriorprincess @readordierachel Thank you. It was a good bookclub discussion. 2w
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Reggie Man, Rachel, I didn‘t want to read this one...nice review. 2w
readordierachel @Reggie It's really worth reading. Heartbreaking, but worth it. 2w
RaimeyGallant Can't wait to read this! 1w
readordierachel @RaimeyGallant It's a good one 👍🏼 1w
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Mitch
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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“ They has been denied even the simple pleasure of being ordinary. Hobbled and handicapped before the race even began, never figuring out how to be normal”.

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Mitch
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Beach reading today ..... #summerisnotoveryet !

GypsyKat Beautiful! ❤️ 2w
Mitch @GypsyKat it‘s a bit breezing but I‘m determined to beach read today! 2w
Lisa0223 It‘s definitely a great day for the beach and a good book. I read the synopsis and will definitely be adding this to my TBR list. Thanks 2w
Mitch @Lisa0223 I really ‘enjoyed‘ it - if that‘s the right word for such a harrowing, sad story! 1w
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Godpants
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

😭 What a powerful book. It just killed me. The cover is also so clever.

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Tward
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I‘ve found Whitehead‘s novels to be difficult to absorb in the past. While I enjoyed The Intuitionist, many of his other novels such as Zone One and The Underground Railroad couldn‘t grab my attention. The Nickel Boys on the other hand is delightfully engaging. The characters are so interesting that I finished this book in one sitting. This is one that will stay on my shelf.

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krismlars
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Feels good to have a real book in my hands, rather than my heavy-ish iPad. #signed

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Mitch
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Well that's Monday night sorted!

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Godpants
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I‘m only 30 pages in but, wow. This may be a one day read.

14 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Yeah_I_Read
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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My son bought me this mug!!!
I just finished The Nickel Boys for b&n book club this week. I did not see the twist in the last part coming at all! It was so well done. I‘m glad I read it. It covers so many themes in its little 210 pages and I am excited to hear what people thought and the things they picked up on that I, super oblivious as ever, completely missed. Anyone else read it yet?

SW-T Nice mug! Haven‘t read the book yet, but it‘s on my TBR. 2w
Yeah_I_Read @SW-T it was good! 2w
readordierachel I just finished it. He's a fantastic writer. A story that will stay with me. 2w
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BookLover29
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Pickpick

This is the first book that made me cry this year. It is such a tragic story but one that needed to be told. The fact that this book is based on true events makes this story even more important. This is story was raw but wonderfully told. It is a story that is unforgettable and will stay with you.

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LauraJ
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Feel like I‘m watching a horror movie and I just wanna yell at Elwood to not get in the car!

Leftcoastzen I‘m reading it tonight too.Not as far along. 2w
readordierachel It's heartbreaking 💔 2w
LauraJ @readordierachel He did a great job of letting the horrors speak for themselves without overdramatizing the story. 2w
readordierachel @LauraJ Totally agree 2w
JulietBooks This book made me gasp so many times... 5d
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Overcaffinatedbookworm1
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Pickpick

This was a book club pick and like all of Mr. Whitehead‘s books didn‘t disappoint! I insist that you stop whatever you are doing and get a copy of this book now

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MamaGina
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Wow. This book was perfect. It will stay with me and I urge everyone to read it.

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Bookmarkie
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Up next

Graciouswarriorprincess I just started yesterday. Happy reading!! 2w
36 likes1 comment
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LauraJ
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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It feels like there‘s something I‘m supposed to be reading, but I can‘t remember what 🧠 🌫
So, I‘m going to read my first Colson Whitehead.

Samplergal I loved it. ( can I say that about a dismal subject matter?) Hope you do too. 2w
Scochrane26 I have this one but haven‘t started it. You should read the Underground Railroad, too, but maybe not right after. It‘s a heavy one also. 2w
Dragon 😻 2w
JulietBooks Aww.. the cat is like "Okay, one more picture and that's it. I need my beauty sleep." 5d
57 likes4 comments
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Twainy
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

Audiobook. Narrator was nothing great or bad. I‘m disappointed. It‘s not what I thought it was going to be. Oh it was good, a novel based on reality but not as much of a horror novel as I thought it was going to be. It was a well written and engaging short book. Library loan via OverDrive. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Reinee
Nickel Boys | Colson Whitehead

WOW. What a great book. Good story. It is a page turner.

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erinjohns
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Mehso-so

A disturbing but all too familiar tale of the horrific treatment of African American boys. The story haunts me as to how far we still need to go as a country to heal. I'm afraid our generation will be written about in the same disturbing light on the unjust treatment of many of our citizens. Such dark times.

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rather_be_reading
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead

We must believe in our souls that we are somebody, that we are significant, that we are worthful, and we must walk the streets of life every day with this sense of dignity of this sense of somebody-ness.

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rather_be_reading
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that

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rather_be_reading
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead

It didnt stop when you got out. Bend you all kind of ways until you were unfit for straight life, good snd twisted by the time you left.

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rather_be_reading
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead

Everybody around and nobody around at the same time.

JulietBooks That sounds lonely... 3w
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rather_be_reading
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead

...so complacent and sleepy after years of oppression that rhey had adjusted to it and learned to sleep in it as their only bed.

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rather_be_reading
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead

...with the knocking of his thoughts, which rattled around his skull like dice.